Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday he agreed on meeting his Turkish counterpart this week for the two countries’ first high-level face-to face talks since Ankara shot down one of Moscow’s warplanes operating in Syria.
Lavrov said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was “insisting” on holding talks on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Belgrade on Thursday and Friday.
“We will not be evading this contact”, Lavrov said. “We will hear what Mr. Cavusoglu has to say. Perhaps there will be something new after what has already been said publicly.”
Asked by a journalist on Wednesday what Ankara could possibly do to mend relations, Lavrov said relations can no longer be “business as usual” due to the “hostile” act against Moscow.
“I am not going to talk about what Turkey should do. I believe our colleagues, our Turkish neighbors, should understand themselves what they must do,” he said, without elaborating.
Moscow has unleashed a raft of sanctions against Ankara, including banning imports of some Turkish foods, stopping the sale of package holidays to the country and reintroducing visas for Turkish visitors.
President Vladimir Putin snubbed a meeting with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the climate conference in France on Monday, after Lavrov had earlier scrapped a visit to Istanbul in the immediate wake of the plane downing.